By cleaning up some scrubby bushes and briars and stuff, we saw that we could have a nice line of the large trees on the east side of the lawn with a new area to plant some flowering bushes. One vine covered crooked tree leaned toward and all but over hung the power line going across the back side of our property on the north border. I put the extension ladder up against it right in the middle of a large clump of vines and fought my way through the vines to get the chain around the tree to pull it with a come-along as I cut it. With it good and tight and while under Barbara’s watchful eye, I proceeded to cut the tree. Sure enough, as it came down it swung around away from the power line and we got it to the ground. Once on the ground I noticed that the large clump of vines that I had fought through was dormant poison ivy with no identifying leaves. The weather was mild so I was wearing a short sleeve shirt. I thought, “Oh me, look what I have done.” I had noticed that there was a large poison ivy vine going up the tree, but it never occurred to me that the clump of vines in the upper part of the tree consisted of poison ivy! Sure enough, that evening I began to feel the itching. When I gave it a “hot water treatment” in the shower on my arms and throat where I waded into those vines, it itched intensely, indicating that I had been exposed. I am dealing with it now, using the hot water treatment which keeps the itching down from twelve to twenty four hours. Had I paid attention, I would have put on long sleeves and buttoned it up tight, but now I must deal with it.
God has provided spiritual armor for our walk with him in this life (Ephesians 6:10-20). We can actively take and apply the Word and the Spirit to our lives in such a way to prevent some things, and to remedy others. If our lack of attention or our thinking is “Well, I’ve got it all, I don’t need to take the Word” or, “I don’t need to be filled with and walk in the Holy Spirit”, that’s our choice. We will just have to itch. If we will pay attention and take God’s full provisions we can have protection from a lot of the stuff we encounter in life. Jesus told believers they were to be “endued” (“clothed upon”) with power from on high (Luke 24:49). If we will clothe ourselves with his Spirit and Word, we can save ourselves a lot of grief and be able to “wade into” the job at hand with God’s power upon us.